Calories In. Calories Out.

Baptist Health Louisville’s new medically supervised weight loss program

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LOUISVILLE While it seems simple enough, losing weight – and keeping it off – is a challenge. Everyone is looking for the magic pill – the silver bullet – that will make the pounds magically melt away. Instead, the question, “So how’s the diet going?” may prompt the disheartening reply that you are five pounds up from last time.

The dreaded diet may work temporarily, but is rarely (if ever) a long-term fix. Instead, a medically supervised weight loss program that seeks to educate, give one-on-one support, and promote lifestyle change works best. People eventually have to live in a world that includes all the food groups, plus other “dangers,” such as sugar and carbohydrates.

The best course toward lifelong weight loss starts with getting to know the person, learning his or her individual needs, stressors, and past issues. The program’s emphasis is not only on what you put in your mouth, but working on what’s in your head that leads you to overeat, or be drawn to unhealthy foods.

A program is built that fits the person’s lifestyle, including how to handle situations that can derail his or her transition. We accept this fact. Life is going to happen. There will be birthday parties, vacations, and girls’ night out. The goal is to teach clients how to navigate tempting, tough, and joyous times without it crashing their new way of life.

To get a good read on where to start, the client rests in a Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) machine, which gives the total calories burned at rest, with activity of daily life and in 30 minutes of moderate activity. This information is used to determine the number of calories required to achieve appropriate weight loss, one to two pounds a week, that stay off … for life!

As a nurse practitioner who leads the medically supervised weight loss program at Baptist Health Louisville, I speak to clients from my personal experience, as well as my training.

All clients attend an orientation group meeting and then six weeks of one-on-one sessions with the nurse practitioner. The first one-on-one meeting includes a complete physical, review of lab work, and the Basic Metabolic Rate report. Appetite suppressants are discussed and prescribed if necessary.

Each appointment, thereafter, is designed to equip the client with some basic tools: different aspects of nutrition, food label reading, and menu building. After the first six weeks, clients meet with the nurse practitioner every other week until they reach their weight loss goal.

Besides meeting their ultimate weight-loss goal, clients often discover a number of side benefits, including being able to discontinue medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and other conditions associated with obesity.

The medically supervised program works hand-in-hand with the weight-loss surgery program operated out of the same office and directed by surgeon John Oldham, MD. Oldham’s pre- and post-surgery clients find the program helpful in either getting on track or staying on track with their weight loss goals, although the program can work for anyone who desires a sensible approach to losing pounds. An annual consultation can be scheduled to give clients a refresher, or course correction as needed.

A common sense approach to eating that is positive, upbeat, and caring sets the program apart from others, helping clients to negotiate eating pitfalls and get to the root cause of their overeating.

R. Jane Lockhart is a nurse practitioner with 10 years’ experience. She leads the medically supervised weight loss program at Baptist Health Louisville.

A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EATING THAT IS POSITIVE, UPBEAT, AND CARING SETS THE PROGRAM APART FROM OTHERS, HELPING CLIENTS TO NEGOTIATE EATING PITFALLS AND GET TO THE ROOT CAUSE OF THEIR OVEREATING.